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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Warre hive comb collapse

    I just noticed that the top section of my Warre hive has suffered some significant comb collapse. (The bottom two sections are fine.) I am inclined to do nothing about it and just let the bees deal with the problem. Has anyone had a similar experience? Advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Yeah you need to get in there and hang it back up! Either tie it, clamp it, wire it and/or a sling! They will reattach it to the top frame. Is it hot in your area or is the hive in direct sun all day?? Make sure the slatted bottom rack is free of any debree for better ventilation and that you have ventilation around the roof! Make sure they have water near by at all times so they can cool down the hive!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    That is exactly why I'm moving away from TBH's. I had several honey combs collapse in the heat and it's not a lot of fun digging them out of the hive. I converted a KTBH recently and I'm going to convert my TTBH next spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Did the buzzing sound get louder as you reached in there to grab the comb???..HAHAHA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    A2,

    Sorry I did not see this sooner to respond to it for you. I'm not sure how serious this situation is, not having seen it or heard a better desciption, but honey or syrup filled combs are next to impossible to deal with. I feel your best options are to remove the combs and leave them some distance away from the hive for bee feed or do nothing. Comb collapses happen all the time in feral nests and the bees just deal with it.

    The main thing I feel you need to do is to correct the situation which caused the collapse in the first place. If you have any insulating material in the quilt, remove it....all of it. If your hive gets direct sun all day, then I would also consider painting the top of the roof white to reflect heat away. And, yes, make sure your bees have access to clean water. Call me if you need anymore advice. My # is on my website.

    Regards,

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Thanks, Chris . . . . . the hive is in shade from 3 PM on, so perhaps I need to provide more mid-day shade. I'll clean up the mess and let them draw more comb.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Leaving collapsed comb in the is irresponsible beekeeping.
    You need to keep your hives inspect-able for disease.

    Get in there and deal with the collapsed comb. Either remove it or straighten it out/string it up. Do not put the honey "out in the yard" for the bees to rob - that causes much more substantial robbing issues .
    If you have to junk it, junk it. Better yet crush and strain it and appreciate how hard the bees worked to put it up.

    As my husband would say "time to put on your big girl beekeeper panties".
    (so to speak)

    ha ha

    sometimes you just have to muscle in and deal with it.

    Best,
    -Erin
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Like I said . . . . I'll clean up the mess and move the hive to a shadier location.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Uh, excuse me Maine Beekeeper, but since you have absolutely no idea how severe this "comb collapse" is, how can you say it would be "irresponsible" to leave it be? The fact is, if the comb had simply come loose and laid against the other combs, as well as being supported by the top bars of the box below it, the bees probably would have handled the situation on there own. There would have been a small issue separating the boxes at harvest time, but that's probably it. It is only for A2s curiosity that he became aware of the situation and, I am sorry to say this, but his actions to make this discovery may have made the situation worse. There are other ways to recognize and remedy these problems, such as checking in the late evening (after dark) to see if the bees are bearding on the landing. If so....it's too hot in the hive. Action should be taken to cool it down. I have no idea how "bad" it looks in there, so I left it to his judgement to decide whether or not it could be left alone with only actions being taken to cool things down inside. It's a Warre hive....it is inherently not inspectable. As far as diseases go, any time a hive is opened and monkeyed with by beekeepers, the chances that the bees will become diseased increases. Trying to sling or tie up a half-melted, syrup or honey filled comb covered with bees would most likely only lead to a bigger mess and a bunch of squashed bees, some of whom might be carrying pathogens or spores that would be released by the thousands, or tens of thousands, or millions....to infect the rest of the hive and cause god knows what.....undoubtedly something that alot of beekeepers would immediately get excited about and start "treating" with meds and then start inspecting more often to monitor, which would probably cause more problems. I had a heck of alot more problems keeping bees back in the day, when I was more "responsible".

    I have removed I don't know how many nests from peoples' homes and I almost always find at least one collapsed comb when I do. It happens....the bees manage.

    Feeding bees honey from comb away from all of the hives does not induce robbing. At least it never has all of the times that I have ever done it. Unless there is reason to suspect disease, there is nothing wrong with feeding honey from within an apiary to all of the bees in that same apiary.

    I am certain that A2s reluctance to go in there and "fix" things for the bees is due to his desire to try to let the bees take care of themselves, naturally, not because he doesn't have the testacular fortitude to do it.

    A2, if you don't have any insulating material in the quilt and you are still concerned about over-heating, place some shims (craft sticks cut small) between the quilt and the mosquito netting to create a vent slot above the upper box. This will almost certainly suffice to keep things cool. I wouldn't recommend moving the hive or jostling things around much until the weather cools down some. This would be to risk more collapsing comb. I also assume that the screened bottom is wide open (??). If not, remove whatever is in there that has it blocked off. If the hive is near any kind of building (like within a few feet) or if there is anything other than grass around it, this may be your main problem. Even black dirt without vegetation surrounding a hive can cause it to overheat. Also, if you haven't already done your clean-up, it might be a good idea to do it in the A.M., when things are cooler so that it isn't such a gooey endeavor.

    Good luck to you.

    Chris
    Last edited by beez2010; 07-12-2010 at 10:58 PM. Reason: punctuation

  10. #10

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Leaving collapsed comb in the is irresponsible beekeeping.
    time to put on your big girl beekeeper panties
    I'm sure as a shining example of master beekeepers, this kind of attitude was part of the coursework.

    "how to be judgmental and belittling to others"

    As you can see, attitudes such as this help the situation so much and definitely make others really care about what you have to say.

    Way to go.

    Good luck on your cleanup A2, every type of hive, even Langs, have comb collapses depending on circumstances. do your best and keep on going.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by beez2010 View Post
    As far as diseases go, any time a hive is opened and monkeyed with by beekeepers, the chances that the bees will become diseased increases.
    Chris
    Maybe we should outlaw inspectable hives.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Outlawing inspectable hives would not make less sense than outlawing uninspectable ones. In any case, just because a hive is inspectable, that doesn't mean that it should be micro-managed by humans.

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  13. #13

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    I welcome the criticism of my language, just trying to lighten up the subject. I apologize to anyone who took offense.

    Fact of the matter is collapsed comb presents an uninspectable situation as far as brood disease goes and that is a critical part of good honeybee management. As A2 said, he's on comb clean up. That's fantastic. But it is important to communicate to readers that his is not a "what should I do in this situation" kind of problem. Collapsed comb needs to be straightened or removed.

    I do not speak for all master beekeepers anyone else. What the EAS certification does mean that I have proven that I have a basic set of fundamental skills in handling honey bees and understandings of the nature and biology of honey bees, bee culture and honey gathering that the EAS program and its founders find to be necessary to promoting good bee management and successful beekeeping. What I tell my beginner students is that Master Beekeeper certification means that what MB's say wont be a total load of "bs". That said, there are lots of Master Beekeepers doing lots of different things with their colonies and their operations. We all do things differently and no one who knows me is going to try to tell you that I am anything but a shoot from the hip tell it as I see it kind of beekeeper.

    As far as the situation at hand,
    Warre hives are fine.
    Collapsed comb happens in Warre, TB, wild hives, and sometimes even frames hives. Bottom line is as good beekeepers we must inspect often enough to discover the collapsed comb when we find it we either fix it or remove it in order to be able to inspect the colony for AFB and other diseases. If the bees could fix it, they would. Same thing goes for neglected hives where the bees have built up into the feeder box.
    Needs to be fixed.


    A2 is on fixing it and that's great. the topic is relevant and needs to be shared as most will come across this situation at some point.
    Fix or remove messed up comb. That's the answer to the question.

    And for the rest, Simple, gentle well handled inspections do not increase the chance of disease. Strong colonies robbing out weak colonies increase the chance of disease - drift between colonies increase disease, moving frames of comb from weak to strong increases disease, dirty old equipment spreads disease.

    Good beekeepers inspecting colonies responsibly prevents disease spread through healthy management.

    Best to all and your bees,
    hope to see you at EAS next month,
    -Erin
    Last edited by Maine_Beekeeper; 07-13-2010 at 09:15 PM.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    I am not a fan of government bee inspectors. I haven't been impressed with the knowledge or competence of ones I have seen. I believe education goes a lot further than government regulations in solving bee problems.

    With that said, I agree that you need to remove collapsed combs. A responsible beekeeper works and manipulates their hives. Collapsed combs fixed by bees results in cross combs and makes your job miserable and tedious. I want to get in the hive, do what I need to do, and get out in the least amount of time necessary. I don't want to have to mess around dealing with screwed up combs every time I try to work a hive.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    This I believe:

    "I would really like a hive to be a book but I am sure that it should remain almost always shut. Bees like solitude. Therefore opening the hive goes against the bees. It obliges them to make a continuous over exertion to re-warm the brood chamber. Modern methods, in other ways that I speak about in my book, also force the bees into harmful overwork. And overwork leads to weakening and weakening makes them more prone to contracting any disease. It is the same with bees as it is with people.

    Diseases develop increasingly in modern apiaries, above all foulbrood, the awful foulbrood. People call in vain for visits by distinguished veterinarians, for remedies from knowledgeable chemists, for registrations and sacrifices from beekeepers. It is the cause that should be eliminated. Let us stop going against the instincts of bees. Let us stop ignoring her needs. Let us obtain healthy bees and, above all, let us not feed bees on sugar.

    The writer, Caillas, condemned the People's Hive because it prevented in a way almost all application of modern methods which are the future of beekeeping. But I do not hesitate to point out that modern methods will lead beekeeping to destruction."

    "The People's (Warre) Hive is criticized for almost completely preventing the application of modern methods which are the future of our beekeeping. But it is my opinion that these modern methods are the death of beekeeping. I emphasize the following facts:

    The bee has survived for centuries in hives with fixed comb without suffering.
    Things are no longer the same with the framed hive and modern methods. 'It is a certain fact', says Berlefech, 'that the invasion by foulbrood in Germany dates from the same time as the framed hive. Before this time there was very little manipulation of hives, foulbrood was hardly known about as it was so rare; but, since then, it is as well known as it is frequent’. Since this German’s cry of warning, we notice in magazines, in manuals, at apicultural events that beekeepers are having to fight against foulbrood more and more. And they talk of fighting against this disease by creating a costly official bureaucracy, which will be a danger because it will carry the disease from a sick colony to a healthy one.

    Let us not go against the laws of nature. Let us leave the germs to accomplish their mission, which is to get rid of what is useless, and let us give our bees the strength to fight against these microbes. We see strong men untouched by tuberculosis germs, whereas weak men often give them favorable conditions for development. All in spite of having encountered tuberculosis germs in public places, on trams, carriages etc., in equal measure. Bees must be similar to men. And the People's Hive and its method strengthens the bees through continual selection, by natural food, by eliminating all overworking of the bees and by the very fact that it protects the bees from foulbrood. Prevention is better than cure.

    I am convinced that modern methods, which tend towards the intensive, lead quite simply to the degeneration of the bee. Since we have forced hens to lay more eggs, there are illnesses in the hen house which were formerly unknown. It will be the same in the hives."

    Abbe Emile Warre--Beekeeping for All.


    Now, I don't think that the present condition of the honeybees of the world is any big secret. Maybe...just maybe...Warre was on to something. Modern methods of beekeeping continue to evolve (thoughbeit slowly), but the bees continue to decline rapidly.


    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  16. #16

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Erin, I appreciate your coming back and flushing out your comments more thoroughly. however..

    I do not speak for all master beekeepers anyone else.
    I have to disagree with you on this.

    Every time you add this to your signature, you are speaking as "a" Master Beekeeper. and "Master Beekeepers" as a group as recognized by the EAS, who bestowed said title on you and is the group that recognizes that title in the group of people holding it.

    You make it public, then you are bringing it to the table in your discussions.

    I'm glad you took it upon yourself to gain more education about honey bees and are available to the EAS to be called upon to help promote beekeeping and helping others in their beekeeping journey.

    I just ask that those carrying 'the badge' bee careful how they say things that may have the opposite effect.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by A2 Bee Man View Post
    I just noticed that the top section of my Warre hive has suffered some significant comb collapse. (The bottom two sections are fine.) I am inclined to do nothing about it and just let the bees deal with the problem. Has anyone had a similar experience? Advice?
    Would that top section be harvested this year? If so, I would just leave it for now.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Big Bear
    I hear what you're saying.

    noted.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by dcross View Post
    Would that top section be harvested this year? If so, I would just leave it for now.
    Yes, with the flow we're having it will probably will be. Thank you. Those were my first thoughts also. It's not a brood chamber nor will it be.

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    The bee has survived for centuries in hives with fixed comb without suffering.

    Without suffering? What about Isle of Wight disease? or numerous other diseases?

    'It is a certain fact', says Berlefech, 'that the invasion by foulbrood in Germany dates from the same time as the framed hive. Before this time there was very little manipulation of hives, foulbrood was hardly known about as it was so rare; but, since then, it is as well known as it is frequent’.

    In fixed comb hives, comb and colonies were routinely destroyed. Was the rarity of foulbrood due to fixed comb hives, or was it due to regular destruction of combs and colonies?

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